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Blackstone investment fund seeding $250M into new venture for microgrids, storage, CHP in C&I sector

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Private equity investment giant Blackstone is creating a new portfolio company focused on financing and owning distributed energy assets for the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

GSO Capital Partners LP, Blackstone’s global credit investment platform, will commit $250 million to fund the new company ClearGen in the beginning. The capital commitment likely will grow over time, according to the release.

ClearGen and Blackstone will offer flexible capital solutions and investment alongside equipment manufacturers, developers and energy service companies which build and operated distributed energy infrastructure. The range of assets will include microgrids, distributed generation, renewable energy combined with battery storage, energy efficiency investments, green transportation, and combined heat and power plants (CHP).

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ClearGen will be managed by industry veterans with a combined 55 years of experience, George Plattenburg, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and Collin Franceschi, Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer.

“Energy consumers face a range of challenges, including cost and risk management and the reliability of supply that affects critical operations,” Plattenburg said. “When you combine these with a broad focus on de-carbonization, there is a rapidly growing need for ClearGen’s capital and expertise.”

These assets will serve various sectors, including technology, telecommunications, healthcare, real estate, industrials, and other commercial and industrial energy consumers.

The market for on-site renewable projects is growing rapidly as energy consumers are faced with rising energy costs, service outages caused by extreme weather and natural disasters, and a desire to improve the sustainability of their operations.

Blackstone’s GSO Capital Partners has more than $138 billion in assets under management worldwide. Blackstone is the financial backer of UK-based Clarion Events, which owns and operates Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH International.

POWERGEN and DISTRIBUTECH will be co-located March 30-April 1 in Orlando, Florida.

In the meantime, the POWERGEN+ virtual series kicks off next week, featuring presenters from Mitsubishi Power, Siemens, Wartsila, Grand River Dam Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy, among others. Registration is free.